Read-to-wear brocade dress by J Mendel.

Read-to-wear brocade dress by J Mendel.

Intricate patterns and lush fabrics are hitting runways and streets with one of the season’s top trends. From swimwear, to ready-to-wear, to haute couture, brocade is taking center stage. This ornamental and embossed cloth is adding a striking element to classic styles. Traced back to the Byzantine Empire, this fabric has been closely associated with nobility throughout history. Once kept a secret by the Chinese, sericulture—the production of silk—was brought to the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century and so began the production of brocades.

This jacquard fabric is not a new addition to modern fashion, although in recent seasons it has grown in popularity. Typically associated with evening wear and haute couture, designers have begun to incorporate this striking fabric into more ready-to-wear pieces. Pants, shorts, peplum tops and other designs have all been seen in rich brocades.

Brocade swimwear by Adriana Degreas.

Brocade swimwear by Adriana Degreas.

The classic yet striking nature of this fabric takes simple designs and structures and adds a profusion of character. Simply put, the fabric itself is a statement piece. Laced throughout time periods from Byzantine, to Baroque, to Rococo to now, brocade holds deep roots in the world of fashion.

Adapted to fit contemporary styles, brocade is an easy-to-wear fabric that’s great for accessory lovers.

An haute couture variation of typical brocade by Oscar de la Renta.

An haute couture variation of typical brocade by Oscar de la Renta.

Ornate and artistic, brocade fabrics demand complimentary accessories. Equally gilded and glamorous jewelry is an absolute must to best wear this trend. Large, intricate and ornamental accessories are the perfect addition to any simply cut article of clothing in this rich fabric. With brocade swimwear, a simple A-line dress or a pair of shorts, layering with lavish accessories is a fun way to truly rock this queenly look.

When it comes to haute couture in brocade fabrics, take more caution. Haute couture is haute couture for a reason—sometimes some things are better left untouched. Instead, add simple and delicate accessories that mimic the richness of the brocade fabric, but in an unassuming way. Complete the look, but allow the artistry of haute couture to take the lead.

Whether deciding on a red carpet ensemble or selecting a ready-to-wear dress for the summer, brocade is a trend not to be overlooked. This fabric has been well adapted to every color-palette and incorporated into fashion items fit for every style and body type. So indulge in you inner-empress and go brocade.

 

“Brocade, Fit For An Empress” on Pinterest

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